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Brian Groom: Northerners: A History, from the Ice Age to the Present Day


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N.B. As one of our Litfest 2022 titles this book is being offered at £2 off the Publisher’s RRP until 31st March 2022.

Making inspired links through time, Groom’s monumental history of the North of England abounds in colourful characters and enthralling incident, from the Venerable Bede to the Miners’ Strike, and marshals a vast array of material into a compulsively readable whole.

‘Brian Groom is one of the most respected journalists of his generation – an essential writer on politics and business and a tireless champion of the north.’ – George Parker, political editor, Financial Times

‘Anything by Brian Groom is worth reading. He knows the world of power intimately without being seduced into it. Brian is his own man, a measured and essential voice in these compromised times.’ – Adam Boulton, editor-at-large at Sky News and presenter of All Out Politics

‘Few people are better placed to write the story of northerners than Brian Groom, one of journalism’s most astute observers of the state of Britain.’ – Helen Pidd, The Guardian

‘Brian Groom is one of the leading media experts on Britain’s regions and nations and a perceptive analyst on topics such as politics, business and Europe.’ – Duncan Weldon, The Economist, author of Two Hundred Years of Muddling Through: The Surprising Story of the British Economy

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Synopsis: The definitive history of the North of England as told through the lives of its inhabitants. A work of unrivalled scale and ambition, Northerners is the defining biography of northern England.

This authoritative new history of place and people lays out the dramatic events that created the north – waves of migration, invasions and battles, and transformative changes wrought on European culture and the global economy. In a sweeping narrative that takes us from the earliest times to the present day, the book shows that the people of the north have shaped Britain and the world in unexpected ways.

At least six Roman emperors ruled from York. The Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria was Europe’s leading cultural and intellectual centre. Cartimandua, Queen of the Brigantes, deserves to be as famous as Boudica. Neanderthals and Vikings, Central European Jews, Afro-Caribbeans and South Asians, have all played their part in the making and remaking of the north. Northern writers, activists, artists and comedians are celebrated the world over, from Wordsworth, the Brontes and Gaskell to LS Lowry, Emmeline Pankhurst and Peter Kay. St Oswald and Bede shaped the spiritual and cultural landscapes of Britain and Europe, and the world was revolutionised by the inventions of Richard Arkwright and the Stephensons. The north has exported some of sport’s biggest names and defined the sound of generations, from the Beatles to Britpop.

Northerners also shows convincingly how the past echoes down the centuries. The devastation of factory and pit closures in the 1980s, for example, recalled the trauma of William the Conqueror’s Harrying of the North. The book charts how the north-south divide has ebbed and flowed and explores the very real divisions between northerners, such as the rivalry between Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Finally, Brian Groom explores what northernness means today and the crucial role the north can play in Britain’s future. As new forces threaten the fabric of the UK again, this landmark book could scarcely be more timely.

Author: Brian Groom
Title: Northerners: A History, from the Ice Age to the Present Day
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780008471200
Original Publication Date: 2022
This Edition Published: 2022
Binding: Hardback


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